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Old 08-24-2016, 04:05 PM
 
21 posts, read 24,331 times
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I wonder if the OP moved or not?

My family had the same debate before we moved last year. We could have bought a VERY moderate house in Lexington or got a nice house in the best neighborhood at some other "average" towns. We went to an open house in Lexington and the agent said "it's not a big house. But you are surrounded by lawyers, doctors, Harvadd/MIT professors..etc. And there's no bad neighborhood in Lexington. It's a the best opportunity you can buy for your kids". It was a smallish house about 1500 sq ft since that's what we could afford in that town. I knew for sure I wouldn't be happy living in it unless we did some major renovations that we couldn't afford immediately. it was a rough weekend because we had to make the decision to put an offer or not within 2 days.

We asked ourselves many questions and it always came to the same one: would ALL of us be happy living in this house? Well, we didn't buy a house in Lexington after all.

Am I happy at my average town now? Yes sure. But would I have bought that small house in Lexington if I had the chance again? Honestly I'm not sure. The "best opportunity you can buy for your kids" still linger in my mind from time to time.
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
4,228 posts, read 5,401,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanotube View Post
I wonder if the OP moved or not?

My family had the same debate before we moved last year. We could have bought a VERY moderate house in Lexington or got a nice house in the best neighborhood at some other "average" towns. We went to an open house in Lexington and the agent said "it's not a big house. But you are surrounded by lawyers, doctors, Harvadd/MIT professors..etc. And there's no bad neighborhood in Lexington. It's a the best opportunity you can buy for your kids". It was a smallish house about 1500 sq ft since that's what we could afford in that town. I knew for sure I wouldn't be happy living in it unless we did some major renovations that we couldn't afford immediately. it was a rough weekend because we had to make the decision to put an offer or not within 2 days.

We asked ourselves many questions and it always came to the same one: would ALL of us be happy living in this house? Well, we didn't buy a house in Lexington after all.

Am I happy at my average town now? Yes sure. But would I have bought that small house in Lexington if I had the chance again? Honestly I'm not sure. The "best opportunity you can buy for your kids" still linger in my mind from time to time.
The "best opportunity you can buy for your kids" is a sales pitch meant to tug at your heart strings.

I'm not convinced that Lexington is better than a "normal" good school in the area. Certainly it seems the best students at LHS will have more opportunities than the best students at other schools, but I'd guess the chances of your kid being the best are probably enough lower that it might end up being a wash. And you lived in a tiny house the whole time.

It seems more and more Lexington attracts the parents who stop at nothing to push their kids ahead. That works for some kids, but unless you're going to do that too your kids may fall behind by comparison. And if you do your kid may end up being outwardly successful and an absolute wreck inside.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:48 AM
 
3,440 posts, read 1,999,078 times
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Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
The "best opportunity you can buy for your kids" is a sales pitch meant to tug at your heart strings.

I'm not convinced that Lexington is better than a "normal" good school in the area. Certainly it seems the best students at LHS will have more opportunities than the best students at other schools, but I'd guess the chances of your kid being the best are probably enough lower that it might end up being a wash. And you lived in a tiny house the whole time.

It seems more and more Lexington attracts the parents who stop at nothing to push their kids ahead. That works for some kids, but unless you're going to do that too your kids may fall behind by comparison. And if you do your kid may end up being outwardly successful and an absolute wreck inside.
As someone who attended a respected second tier school district (Shrewsbury), I agree with this statement. I had plenty of peers transition to respected institutions such as Tufts, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, J Hopkins, RPI, etc. Mid-pack kids such as myself still pulled a GPA/SAT high enough to land in places like Northeastern, Bentley, Syracuse, etc. In short, a "good" MA school district is quite competitive at the regional and national level.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:02 PM
 
1,414 posts, read 727,823 times
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Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
As someone who attended a respected second tier school district (Shrewsbury), I agree with this statement. I had plenty of peers transition to respected institutions such as Tufts, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, J Hopkins, RPI, etc. Mid-pack kids such as myself still pulled a GPA/SAT high enough to land in places like Northeastern, Bentley, Syracuse, etc. In short, a "good" MA school district is quite competitive at the regional and national level.
What year did you you graduate if you don;t mind me asking? I had a similar high school experience, but that was 20 years ago. Times have changed in terms of competitiveness for college admissions.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:38 PM
 
3,440 posts, read 1,999,078 times
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Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post
What year did you you graduate if you don;t mind me asking? I had a similar high school experience, but that was 20 years ago. Times have changed in terms of competitiveness for college admissions.
'03 when 88% of the graduating class pursued a grad degree. The '16 graduating stats don't differ by much.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:48 PM
 
1,414 posts, read 727,823 times
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Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
'03 when 88% of the graduating class pursued a grad degree. The '16 graduating stats don't differ by much.
Yes, but if you were to research the trends of Total Applications and % accepted to the schools you referenced I believe you will see a dramatic trend of increasing applicants and decreasing acceptance rates. This will certainly be true for the upper tier schools and probably most of the mid tiers as well. Whatever factors are driving this (e.g. international applicants), college admissions are much more competitive than they were 10-20 years ago.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
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Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
'03 when 88% of the graduating class pursued a grad degree. The '16 graduating stats don't differ by much.
Do you mean post-secondary degrees? I don't think 88% of my graduating class from college pursued graduate degrees.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:54 PM
 
3,440 posts, read 1,999,078 times
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Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
Do you mean post-secondary degrees? I don't think 88% of my graduating class from college pursued graduate degrees.
Forgot to add the "under".
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:19 PM
 
3,440 posts, read 1,999,078 times
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Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post
Yes, but if you were to research the trends of Total Applications and % accepted to the schools you referenced I believe you will see a dramatic trend of increasing applicants and decreasing acceptance rates. This will certainly be true for the upper tier schools and probably most of the mid tiers as well. Whatever factors are driving this (e.g. international applicants), college admissions are much more competitive than they were 10-20 years ago.
Seems like the stats suggest it's largely due to international applicants, particularly at the top tier schools. It was certainly ramping up when I was applying, but yes, since 2003 many of the Ivy schools acceptance rates have halved.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:57 AM
 
18,999 posts, read 10,725,843 times
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Originally Posted by Shrewsburried View Post
As someone who attended a respected second tier school district (Shrewsbury), I agree with this statement. I had plenty of peers transition to respected institutions such as Tufts, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, J Hopkins, RPI, etc. Mid-pack kids such as myself still pulled a GPA/SAT high enough to land in places like Northeastern, Bentley, Syracuse, etc. In short, a "good" MA school district is quite competitive at the regional and national level.
For likely final outcome, engaged parents trump anything else. The peer group those parents allow their children to be with is next. The town/school system is a distant third unless the town/school system is such a problem that there isn't a viable peer group. You can probably come up with a list of 50 out of the 296 cities & towns in the state where it would be tough to find a peer group that wouldn't send your children off the rails.

Personally, I think it's healthy to grow up in a mixed town. In one of the leafy metro-Boston suburbs, the only people you encounter are extremely affluent and it gives you a false world view that everybody is like that. I think it's what creates that whole entitled Millennial stereotype. They don't realize that you have to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity to get to that top-5% and that most people never get there. I grew up in a town that was a lot more diverse than Shrewsbury. You had rich summer home people and the white collar professionals clustered on the coast. A part of the town has 3 floor tenement buildings with a fairly high poverty rate. Lots of working class starter homes on small lots. It gives you a very different worldview than living in a place where everyone works in a 128 belt office building, medical complex, or commutes to a high paying Boston job.
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